I arrived in northern Belgium to visit Bruges once again. I was just here a year ago but it’s attraction has left its mark on me. If I am within a few hours of train hopping of Bruges , I have to go.
This time I only had 24 hours and I was also showing my friend Andi, from Serbia , a first time look at this fairy tale looking city .
Upon arriving at the Centrum , we quickly dropped our bags at our hotel and set off on foot to explore. Not much need for a map . The city is small with plenty of landmarks to help find your way around . We started to traverse the cobblestone streets and sidewalks of Bruges, marveling at the majestic stone and brick buildings dating to the 1600’s . Each building unique in its own way . Wether it be an old Latin quote engraved into a slab of stone or a statue of a Saint sculpted onto a buildings facade , Bruges is a place where you feel as though you have stepped back into time . Never have I seen a town so well preserved .
The Belfort Tower is at the center of it all . It is open to the public and at 88 meters it offers breathtaking 360 views of the streets and rooftops below . Of course we had to take this trek! It is a steep ( so steep at times the hand railing is a rope with stopper knots tied into it ) staircase made up of stone and wood and is 366 steps up . Corkscrewing up , so narrow at times you have to hug a wall to allow another to pass by . Once atop, we were rewarded with beautiful panoramic views .
After another couple hours of street exploration it was dinner time. Rain had begun to fall . Luckily the many restaurants located directly in the centrum still were offering covered outdoor seating with heaters warming the chilly November air. Then a quick walk to a cafe for a warm fresh waffle topped with ice cream, unbelievably delicious .
Then off we went to a small pub to enjoy some of Belgium’s finest beers . Extensive beer menus with everything from triple strength ales to fruit beers await you. After a few of these I was ready to call it a night.
The following morning offers fair temps and overcast skies . Perfect to take a boat tour of the miles of canals that make their way thru every direction in the city . Bruges has the nickname “Venice of the North” for a reason . A look from a boat or the street, these quiet serene waterways and the beautiful brick arched bridges that span the canal and you are once again reminded of why so many refer to Bruges as looking like a fairy tale.
It was a quick 24 hours, but I was still once again in awe of the majestic views that allow me to take postcard looking pictures simply by pressing a button in any direction.
If Cinderella was getting married today, I think it would be somewhere here.